JCU Logo


COURSE NAME: "Business Communications "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Michele Favorite
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 11:10-1:00 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS: by appointment

This course deals with the definition and analysis of problems and the production of written and oral business reports. Use of appropriate computer software (e.g. word processing, spreadsheets, graphics) is an integral part of the course

This course will help students enhance their understanding of the strategic role that communication plays in the business world, and how effective communication can make or break a deal, an idea, a proposal, etc. The course will analyze how communication is used to inform, motivate, facilitate change and create value in today’s rapidly evolving organizations, and how the means of communication are changing constantly.

It will evaluate what determines effective business communication, and how to achieve it. Students will learn how to develop, support and organize arguments and how to strengthen their research skills. They will develop their written, oral and interpersonal communication skills in business settings and across a range of tasks including letters, memoranda, resumes, press releases, emails, reports and presentations. Students will learn how to effectively deliver negative and positive business news while maintaining a confident tone, how to communicate persuasively, how to present themselves to the business world through resumes and cover letters and how to create and present effective visual aids. The course will include at least one guest speaker and a resume workshop.

This course is writing-intensive.


Students will learn what makes written and oral business communication effective, how to think strategically about communication and achieve their aims by communicating successfully. Routine, bad news and persuasive communication will be covered in depth, both in writing and speaking.

Specifically, students will learn how to write routine emails, letters and memos, how to write effective bad-news and persuasive letters, how to effectively research and write a business report and how to prepare an effective resume and cover letter. The course will spend considerable time on oral communication: how to structure and deliver a business presentation, including visual aids.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Guide to Managerial CommunicationMary MunterPrentice Hall9780137130467  
Communicating in BusinessScot Ober and Amy NewmanPrentice Hall9781111971762   

ParticipationParticipation means contributing regularly to class in a constructive, intelligent and proactive way. Students who miss or are late to more than three classes may be asked to withdraw from the class. Two latenesses equal one absence15%
Short assignments (letters, memos, emails, outlines of 1 or 2 pages) 20%
Research report: a double-spaced report of approximately 5 pages will be assigned in week three. 15%
PowerPoint Presentation: presentations will be assigned in week seven 15%
Midterm 15%
Final Exam 20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the co
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

Participation means contributing regularly to class in a constructive, intelligent and proactive way. Students who miss or are late to more than three classes may be asked to withdraw from the class. Two latenesses equal one absence.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.





Session Focus

Reading Assignment

Week 1

Introduction to business communication; Resume Writing; Overview of different forms of business communication; Communication strategy.

Assigned reading:

Ober chapter 12.

Munter: chapters  1-4

Ober chapter 5

Harvard Management Communication Letter (HMCL): “Don’t push that send button!”; HMCL: “The best memo you’ll ever write,” pp. 145-169

Week 2

Writing effective routine communication: emails, letters, memos.

Persuasive Communication


Assigned reading:

Ober: chapters 6-7

Week 3

Bad News Communicaton

Review for midterms


Assigned reading :

Ober, chapter 8


Week 4

Writing Reports

Visual aids

The power of blogs: how they are changing business communication.

 Preparing persuasive presentations; practice presentations.

Discussion of The World is Flat

Assigned reading:

Ober, chapter s 9-10

HMCL: “Why the best presentations are good conversations”

Week 5

Presentations. Review and Final Exam.

Reports due